Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

'Mini' transplant may reverse severe sickle cell disease

10.12.2009
Results of a preliminary study by scientists at the National Institutes of Health and Johns Hopkins show that "mini" stem cell transplantation may safely reverse severe sickle cell disease in adults.

The phase I/II study to establish safety of the procedure, published December 10 in the New England Journal of Medicine, describes 10 patients with severe sickle cell disease who received intravenous transplants of blood-forming stem cells. The transplanted stem cells came from the peripheral blood of healthy related donors matched to the patients' tissue types.

Using this procedure, nine of 10 patients treated have normal red blood cells and reversal of organ damage caused by the disease.

Jonathan Powell, M.D., Ph.D., associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, says the intravenous transplant approach for sickle cell disease, caused by a single mutation in the hemoglobin gene, does not replace the defective gene, but transplants blood stem cells that carry the normal gene.

Sickle cell disease, named for the "deflated" sickle-shaped appearance of red blood cells in those with the disease, hinders the cells' ability to carry oxygen throughout the body. In severe cases, it causes stroke, severe pain, and damage to multiple organs, including the lungs, kidneys and liver.

All patients in the study, ranging in age from 16 to 45, were treated at the NIH with what researchers call a non-myeloablative or "mini" transplant, along with an immune-suppressing drug called rapamycin.

Conventional transplant methods use high doses of chemotherapy to wipe out the immune system before the transplanted cells are injected, a process that has many side effects, including serious bacterial and fungal infections, which may kill some patients. In mini-transplants, lower doses of medication and radiation are used to make room for the donor's cells, the new source for healthy red blood cells in the patient.

According to Powell, side effects, including low white blood cell counts, were few and very mild compared with conventional bone marrow transplantation. But in nine of the 10, donor cells now coexist with the patients' own cells. One patient was not able to maintain the transplanted cells long term.

Minitransplants for sickle cell disease were tested in patients almost a decade ago, but were unsuccessful because the patients' immune systems rejected the transplanted cells, according to Powell, but by employing the drug rapamcyin, he says this new approach promotes the coexistence of the host and donor cells.

Powell's earlier research in mice showed that rapamycin inhibits an enzymatic pathway that suppresses the immune system and makes the host and donor cells tolerant to each other.

The NIH/Johns Hopkins team is conducting further studies on immune cells gathered from patients in their study, and looking at a combination of rapamycin with a well-known cancer drug called cyclophosphamide.

Other teams at Johns Hopkins are studying the use of half-matched donors for transplants in sickle cell patients, helping to widen the pool of potential donors for stem cell transplantation.

Funding for the study was provided by the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive, and Kidney Diseases and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute at the NIH.

Study authors at the NIH include principal investigator John Tisdale, as well as Matthew Hsieh, Elizabeth Kang, Courtney Fitzhugh, M. Beth Link, Roger Kurlander, Richard Childs, and Griffin Rodgers.

Vanessa Wasta | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.jhmi.edu
http://www.hopkinskimmelcancercenter.org

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Light beam replaces blood test during heart surgery
28.02.2017 | University of Central Florida

nachricht Cells adapt ultra-rapidly to zero gravity
28.02.2017 | Universität Zürich

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Safe glide at total engine failure with ELA-inside

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded after a glide flight with an Airbus A320 in ditching on the Hudson River. All 155 people on board were saved.

On January 15, 2009, Chesley B. Sullenberger was celebrated world-wide: after the two engines had failed due to bird strike, he and his flight crew succeeded...

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New technology offers fast peptide synthesis

28.02.2017 | Life Sciences

WSU research advances energy savings for oil, gas industries

28.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Who can find the fish that makes the best sound?

28.02.2017 | Information Technology

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>